Exploring Career Options (job shadowing, informational interviews)

Informational interviewing and job shadowing are two valuable opportunities for you to learn about careers of interest to you. The difference between informational interviewing and job shadowing is the expectation for job shadowing is you will spend a longer time with the professional in his/her work environment to observe daily tasks. Informational interviewing can occur at the professional's office, at a coffee shop, or via phone/email. It entails a conversation about daily tasks, background, challenges, etc. An informational interview often occurs informally while job shadowing and job shadowing may result from the informational interview. So how do you get started?

  1. Check out our Career Mentor program to see if any of those employers are of interest to you.
  2. Meet with your Career Counselor if you need ideas on who to contact.
  3. Prepare for your appointment; research the company/ industry to ask 'intelligent questions' which you have written out in advance. Also, have a 30-second summary prepared of your qualifications, skills, and experience, just in case you get asked about your background.
  4. Conduct the informational interview, which should last about 20 minutes. One question should include asking the person for more contact names.
  5. Ask for the person's business card before you leave. Remember to express your thanks!

Career FYI – listen to or read informational interviews with people working in the following fields: http://careerfyi.typepad.com/infointerviews/ Fashion, Finance, High Tech, Human Resources, Insurance, Legal, Marketing, Non-Profit, Project Management, Public Service, Real Estate, Retail, Sales, Software, Television, Travel, Web/Tech

For more information, check out these resources: